Are you a student who faces issues while writing an academic essay for your admission process or as a part of your class assessments? Needless to say, there are always going to be a few essay topics that may seem overwhelmingly complicated. However, we are sure you are a brilliant student who can deal with such complexities like a pro. Having said that, what you also need to realize is that understanding the topic is never the sole criterion for doing well in an essay.
Table of Contents
To explain, there is a stepwise approach that you need to follow while writing an essay. For writing an essay that can get you admission to your dream university or help you score HD grades, you also need to ensure that your essay is in the right format and is structured in a way that offers maximum clarity to readers. If this seems a little tricky to understand, don’t you worry at all! This is your complete guide on how to write an impressive essay and that is in line with the ideal format for academic essays.
Irrespective of whether you are tasked with writing an argumentative essay, narrative essay, or expository essay, this guide will help you excel in all types of essays. This guide explains the ideal essay format in detail inclusive of how you need to frame the introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion of your essay.
Besides, each section is explained through effective examples. We have presented a sample essay: Positive Effects of Globalization on Developing Nations to showcase examples of an effective introduction, body paragraphs, and essay conclusion. So, let us get started without further ado.
Understanding the format of an essay
As discussed above, all argumentative essays, narrative essays, expository essays, or other essays include the following three sections.
The number of body paragraphs is subject to change as per the essay task at hand. You can be given an essay task to complete within 1000 words or an essay task may have a word count as high as 6000 to 7000 depending on the level of education you are pursuing and the complexity of the topic. If an essay is for 1000 to 1500 words, you can include three or four body paragraphs in your essay.
What is notable is that each of these sections has its own thumb rules. There is a proper way or format of writing the introduction that you need to follow for scoring high grades. Along similar lines, there are set thumb rules for body paragraphs and essay conclusions that you should adhere to for succeeding in the pursuit of scoring high grades. In the subsequent sections of this compelling guide, we have explained the best practices for all three sections of an essay in detail. So, let us get going.
Essay introduction - starting on a great note
Indeed, your essay’s introduction is the most important part of your essay. To put it the other way around, your essay’s introduction is the firm impression of your essay and it is going to have a massive impact on how professors or members of the admissions committee will perceive your essay. Having said that, the introduction of your essay should be well-structured, impactful, and should be engaging enough. More importantly, the introduction should clearly state the purpose of your essay.
The real question is, what makes an essay introduction impactful and engaging? Given below are some best practices for writing an impressive introduction.
1. Use an impactful hook
Your essay should start with a hook that creates both interest and impact. A hook could be a key statistic relevant to your essay topic, a substantial claim, or a surprising fact. The purpose of the hook is to capture the immediate interest and attention of the reader.
2. Give a brief background of your topic
Next, after the hook, you need to introduce your topic by giving a brief background of the topic. This background information should be concise and should represent your understanding of the topic. While stating the background of your topic, you need to mention the purpose of your essay and what you are going to cover in your essay.
3. Define the thesis statement of your essay
After you have started impressively with a hook and have included a brief background of your topic, you then need to bring in the thesis statement of your essay. To elucidate, the purpose of the thesis statement is to highlight the focal idea of your essay. To understand better, the thesis statement establishes the position or stance that you are going to justify through the essay. Moreover, it is important that your thesis statement is coherent, concise, and debatable. For greater clarity, you can go through our unique guide on writing a thesis statement.
4. Explain the structure of your essay
To sum up your introduction paragraph, you need to define the structure of your essay. It is more like the blueprint that your essay will follow. When you define the structure, it offers great clarity to the readers.
As long as you are following these effective practices, there is no reason why your professors will not feel highly impressed with the beginning of your essay. Besides, to learn about essay introductions in detail, you can go through our exclusive guide on how to write essay introductions. Besides, in line with the above practices, the introduction of our sample essay: Positive Effects of Globalization on Developing Nations is given below.
Ever since India initiated trade liberalization in 1991, India’s economy multiplied manifold to reach USD 2.8 trillion in 2019 from USD 270 billion in 1991 ("Top 3 advantages of globalization in India ", 2022). India’s economic boom is only one of the many examples of how globalization has added immense value to developing economies. As a concept, the idea of globalization gained traction around the 18th century and today, the world is better known as a global village. Globalization is linked to the idea of economic liberty and trade liberty leading to the exchange of commercial activities and even cultural dimensions across nations. Globalization has benefited developing economies in multidimensional ways while making developed economies incrementally stronger. The purpose of this essay is to highlight the key social, economic, and other advantages that globalization offers to developing countries like India, Brazil, and so on.This essay substantiates the position that globalization is important for developing nations and can help developing economies attain self-sufficiency through liberalization in trade and foreign direct investment policies.Firstly, the definition of globalization is elucidated followed by the economic and social benefits of globalization specific to the context of developing economies. Secondly, The essay includes an effective case study correlating the economic benefits of globalization with a developing nation.
As you can see in the introduction sample above, we have clearly differentiated the key elements of an effective essay introduction. This should serve as a great template for you to write great essay introductions. Having said that, let us move to the next part, the body paragraphs.
Body paragraphs - culmination of the central ideas
The body of your essay makes the most substantial and the largest part of your essay. For instance, if your essay task is for 2000 words, the body of your essay will account for 1600-1700 words. In the ideal scenario, the body of your essay should include 3 to 4 paragraphs unless stated otherwise in the task guidelines. In fact, subject to the task or the level of education, an essay can go up to 6000 to 7000 words. In that case as well, the body of the essay will account for more than 90 percent of your essay’s word limit.
Also, be considerate of the fact that each body paragraph should discuss a single central idea. If one body paragraph has multiple central ideas, it can be quite confusing for the reader. So, when you are creating the rough draft of your essay, you should also plan for the central idea you are going to include in each body paragraph.
To explain the construct of the body paragraphs, they include the central ideas and arguments that substantiate the position taken by you in the thesis statement of your essay. Further, these arguments should ideally come from academic sources or previously published work of research for greater credibility.
Probing further, each body paragraph included in your essay should follow the correct format that is specific to body paragraphs. The best practices with respect to the formatting and structuring of body paragraphs are listed below.
1. Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence
The topic sentence of the body paragraph explains what the paragraph is about and what it includes. Besides, the topic sentence is in continuation with the previous paragraph. Can’t figure out what exactly the topic sentence is? You will have a much greater understanding of it after going through the example.
2. Introduce evidence
After you have clearly established the topic sentence of your essay, the next step is to introduce relevant evidence that can substantiate your position. The evidence need not necessarily be in terms of statistics. It can also be in terms of facts, claims, or arguments coming from academic papers or research papers.
Also, make sure you are citing the works of other authors when you source information or evidence from their work. Not citing the sources or citing sources in an inappropriate way can amount to plagiarism or academic misconduct.
3. Draw analysis from the evidence
After you have included substantial evidence from a research paper or academic journal, you then need to analyze the evidence in terms of its implications. What does the evidence suggest, how does it correlate with the topic of the essay and the repercussions that are likely to occur are the questions to ponder upon. The evidence and analysis together should support your position with respect to the essay.
Analysis can also include the contrast between different findings or the contradiction between two academic sources on the same topic. In fact, that is the common approach that is usually taken in writing argumentative essays.
4. Conclude the body paragraph
Each body paragraph should have its own brief conclusion that summarizes the central idea discussed in the paragraph, related evidence, and the resulting analysis. The concluding lines are essential for each body paragraph.
Although we have already explained in detail what a body paragraph should look like, the example below in continuation with our sample essay: Positive Effects of Globalization on Developing Nations
Body Paragraph 1
Despite the fact that globalization is a popular idea on contemporary times, its definition remains largely subjective. Globalization is defined as the emergence of interdependence between countries arising from the increased exchange of trade, commerce activities, technology, infrastructure, and work opportunities beyond national borders (Watson, 1998). It is evident that globalization has played a crucial role in strengthening the developing economies of the world as globalization has acted as an economic bridge between developed nations and developing nations. Globalization has brought merits like access to new markets, international staffing, increased technical expertise, expansion of innovation, the merger of international cultures, and greater trade balance to developing nations (Tomohara & Takii, 2011). It is analyzed that in the post-pandemic era wherein economies look to compensate for the economic losses triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, globalization will have a massive role to play in the economic rebuilding of developing nations. Without economic assistance and promoting globalization, developing countries with low income levels are at the risk of losing economic progress attained in the last ten years (Gurara et al., 2022). For countries to leverage the benefits of globalization, it is imperative that the economic policies are readjusted for greater freedom to facilitate fast economic recovery through globalization.
The sample body paragraph above clearly demonstrates how you begin with the topic sentence followed by the evidence from an academic source. Further, contingent on the evidence discussed, the analysis is presented and the body paragraph ultimately ends with a concise conclusion. As long as you are following this format correctly, your essay will surely impress a lot of people.
Further, the ensuing section discusses the best practices for writing an essay conclusion.
Conclusion: summing it up
As you would already know, the conclusion paragraph simply summarizes the arguments and discussions included in the body paragraphs. When it comes to the conclusion, you are not supposed to add any new information, arguments, or references. An argument or assertion not included in the body paragraphs must not feature in the conclusion.
The best practices for writing an effective conclusion are listed below
1. Reiterate the purpose and position
When you write the conclusion of your essay, you need to present the mannerism in which your arguments and discussions justify your position with respect to the essay. You need to justify your thesis statement in line with the arguments and evidence added to the body paragraphs.
2. Future recommendations
Towards the end of the conclusion paragraph, you can make suggestions for future research on the topic for greater clarity. You can summarize the essay with a few straightforward suggestions for research on the subject matter to unleash new perspectives backed by research.
As per the best practices for writing a conclusion, a sample conclusion is provided below for our essay: Positive Effects of Globalization on Developing Nations
To encapsulate, it is identified that globalization has brought several economic and social benefits to developing economies and have brought them at par with developed economies. As a direct outcome of thriving globalization, developing economies are reaching out to new markets, hiring international employees, expanding their exports, and generating substantial revenue by selling their products in the international markets. However, more empirical research is required to delve deep into how globalization has benefited developing nations contingent on the lines of intersectionality.
We hope that on the other side of the sample conclusion, you have a clear idea of how to write an essay that can create a massive impact from the word go. You now know all that you ever needed to know about writing an impressive essay for admissions or assignments. Lastly, to add greater value to the experience of our valuable readers, the next section offers some quick essay writing tips.
1. Free yourself from your stressors before you begin your essay and create a conducive environment
2. Create a rough draft of your essay before you begin writing
3. You can use the Pareto Principle for effective time management while you work on your essay
4. Ensure that you have a good knowledge of plagiarism to avoid accidental plagiarism in your essay which could very well lead you to trouble.
5. Proofread your essay for grammatical or typing errors before you make the final submission. Any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes could not only impact the impression of your essay but also cost you grades.
6. Check for the cover letter or ToC requirements before you submit the essay to your professors.
What is the importance of outlining an essay before writing?
Outlining helps organize your thoughts and ideas, ensuring a logical flow of content in your essay. It also helps you stay focused on your main argument and avoid unnecessary tangents.
How do I develop a strong thesis statement for my essay?
A strong thesis statement should express the main argument of your essay in one or two sentences. It should be specific, debatable, and reflect the overall message you want to convey.
Can I use online sources in my essay, and how do I ensure their credibility?
Yes, you can use online sources, but verify the credibility of the websites and authors. Look for reputable sources from academic institutions, government websites, or well-known experts.
How can I improve the coherence and flow of my essay?
To improve coherence and flow, use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas between sentences and paragraphs. Ensure that each paragraph builds on the previous one and supports your overall thesis.
Is it necessary to follow a specific essay format, such as MLA or APA?
The essay format will depend on the requirements set by your instructor or the academic institution. Common formats include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard styles. Always adhere to the specified format guidelines.